Family Heirlooms: Art from the Westhues family

Exhibition Dates: November 5 – December 20, 2009

This special exhibit for the holiday season features handmade crafts and functional art from Artpost owner Kay Westhues’ family, many whom are craftspersons and artists living in the Bloomington Indiana area. Artists who will be exhibiting include:

Betty Westhues lives near Bloomington IN, and has been weaving since 1975, first making colorful rag rugs and moving to tapestry rugs in 1985. Recently she acquired a turn-of-the-century ‘Legare’ sock-knitting machine, which she uses to create handmade socks, knitted dolls and sock monkeys.

Sock monkey

Sock monkey

Baby-safe dolls

Child-safe dolls

Walt Schmidt is best known as a potter who creates functional stoneware ceramics, but also makes handcrafted wood furniture and forged ironwork at his studio located in the hills near Bloomington. Each piece of pottery is handcrafted of indigenous Indiana stoneware clay, and all wood is local.

Square Vase

Square vase

Chair (walnut, hickory and beaver wood)

Sue Westhues, also from the Bloomington area, creates art and utilitarian pieces from gourds. Her work has been featured on the Carol Duval Show on the Home Gardening Channel, and has been included in two books on gourd art: Making Gourd Musical Instruments and Making Gourd Dolls & Spirit Figures, by Jim Widess and Ginger Summit (Sterling Publishing). Sue also teaches gourd drum making through the Indiana Gourd Society.

Gourd bird

Gourd bird

Gourd drum

Gourd drum

Sarah Westhues-Owen is a musician, mom, and crafter who lives near Marshall, North Carolina. Her beautiful handmade dolls and toys are one-of-a-kind and completely safe for babies and small children.

Flannel dog

Flannel dog

6 inch doll

6 ” doll

Tansy Troup is a seamstress and quilter who owns A Stitch In Time, an alterations shop in Bloomington. She will be showing her newest creations: vintage-look aprons.
Ruby Troup recently graduated from Herron School of Design with a major in Furniture Design. Her unique furniture pieces are hand-carved or molded organic forms that can stand alone as a piece of art, or used functionally.
Table Table (bent laminated plywood, poplar, milk paint, Danish oil)
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  1. admin
    Posted November 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jean, I just emailed you her contact info – and her is her info on the Brown County Craft Gallery website –

  2. Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I’d really like to communicate with Sue Westhues about her gourd drums and whether she has kits or where she might be teaching classes. Sue, if you get this message would you please email me at


    Jean Reed

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  • By Previous exhibits « Artpost on February 6, 2010 at 11:24 am

    […] Joe Casey: Joe’s World and Family Heirlooms: Art by the Westhues family […]

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    Open by appointment

    216 W. Madison St.
    South Bend IN